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Being in self-isolation and working from home has been a change of routine. I feel so lucky to live in the Canadian Rockies and I appreciate the majestic mountain views right from my doorstep. It’s also been an opportunity for me to slow down and focus on what’s really important to me—family, friends and food.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with my nine-year-old dog, Elsa. She’s what we call here a "mountain mutt" and has been a great source of comfort and wisdom during these strange times.

Here’s what I’ve learned from her:

  1. Look out the window often. Appreciate the outdoors even when you’re inside.
  2. Never pass up an opportunity to nap in the sun. When you wake up, be like Elsa and stretch audibly before moving on to your next nap location.
  3. Wildlife viewing in the Canadian Rockies is incredible. Whether it’s something as large as an elk, deer or coyote or small as a squirrel, chipmunk or robin, Elsa is sure to alert her friends and family of its presence with a loud bark and enthusiastic tail wag.
  4. Change up your daily routine with walks in different places. Sometimes a walk through the neighbourhood is nice to get waves and friendly nods from humans in our community. Other days, we like to walk through the forest where there are lots of things to smell and to enjoy the solitude and serenity of nature.
  5. In these times of social distancing, don’t shake a paw (which is just fine for Elsa, who can’t seem to figure this out in the best times). An enthusiastic smile and head nod will have to suffice.
  6. Enjoy mealtimes. Eat heartily and don’t worry about leaving leftovers.
  7. Keep the house clean. A tidy space maintains a tidy mind. Elsa helps by not allowing a single crumb to remain on the floor.

Good girl, Elsa! You deserve a big treat for all this wisdom.

A dog stands in a meadow below a tall mountain.

About the Author: Mirit Poznansky has lived in Canmore, Alberta for ten years and is the Director of Programming & Animation for Pursuit's Banff Jasper Collection. She creates new and unforgettable experiences in the Canadian Rockies and works with our interpretive guiding teams to share the stories that make our Pursuit places so special. When not riding buses, boats, and gondolas, Mirit enjoys skiing, backcountry camping, watching old movies and going for long walks with her husband and Elsa the mountain mutt.

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